wickerdude

Priceline Hotel: 4* Hotel in SF for 6 nights

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By wickerdude,
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I'm looking for advice on bidding for a 4* hotel in downtown San Francisco for six nights (Sept. 23-29). My only previous experience with Priceline was a successful bid of $75 on a 4* hotel for 2 nights at the Grand Hyatt on Union Square on the eve of my stay around the same time last year. I'd prefer to stay in the Union Square area although the quality of the hotel is a higher priority to me than the location.

Is it too early to start bidding now for a room in late September? Would I be better off breaking up my bid into two bids of three nights each?

I already have a reservation through a friend at the Intercontinental hotel for about $146 a night. I'm just looking to see if I can find something comparable for less money.

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Welcome to BetterBidding.

Which Intercontinental (there are two in SF) do you have a back-up reservation for $146?

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wickerdude

Welcome to BetterBidding :)

If you would like to get help with a bidding strategy so please post your budget/night, zone(s) you're willing to stay in and the rating for the hotel.

Is it too early to start bidding now for a room in late September? Would I be better off breaking up my bid into two bids of three nights each?
Since you plans are firm so start bidding now. You have plenty of time so you can bid in the lower end if you want to ride this out. Do you see any change for the rates if you search for the stay in two portions? I think you should at leats try and bid for the complete stay first before you split your stay.

Have you done any bidding yet?

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

Yellowdog.

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I haven't started bidding yet because I read somewhere on here that your bid is more likely to be accepted if you begin the bidding process closer to your arrival date. I'm also not sure what zones all the 4* hotels are in, but I guess I'd prefer something in the USE or the Financial District/Embarcadero zones, preferably for under $100 a night, but I'd probably go as high as $125 a night, which would still make it worth my while unless you all think I'm already getting a fantastic deal at the Intercontinental.

I also haven't noticed any difference in the published rates if I were to break the stay in two.

Thanks

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A lot of those people who wait to start bidding closer to their arrival date end up getting nothing, over paying, or staying in an area the didn't want. I have no problem booking six months out if I'm sure I'll be making the trip. A little low ball bidding will get you familiar with the process, and who knows, you might get lucky. Good luck.

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I'm also not sure what zones all the 4* hotels are in

Go to the link below and you can see which 4* hotels are in which zone.

Priceline Hotel List California

As info, HOTWIRE is selling what is a match for the Intercontinental (on 8th & Howard) for $173 per night for your travel dates (4.5 star USE zone). While more expensive than the $146 rate you have reserved, Hotwire offers a unique best rate guarantee program where they pay you double the difference if you find a lower rate. Is the $146 rate you have a rate available to the general public? If so, and you can provide documentation of your reservation at $146, you could purchase through HOTWIRE and file for their best rate guarantee claim. A successful claim would reduce the per-night price to approximately $119.

If you're not a gambler and don't want to try the option above, then I agree with slruud that you've got some time to low ball here. At least you have a decent back-up price as I believe $146 isn't too bad for a 6-night stay during San Francisco's peak Fall season.

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I haven't started bidding yet because I read somewhere on here that your bid is more likely to be accepted if you begin the bidding process closer to your arrival date.

I don't necessarily agree... see the "should i bid early or close to arrival" link in our PRICELINE FAQ.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
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(click here) and use promo code: BBAPR20
(3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 04/30/2020)

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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I don't necessarily agree... see the "should i bid early or close to arrival" link in our PRICELINE FAQ.

I finally bid yesterday on a 4* in the USE and Embarcadero/Financial District zones for 6 nights (Sept. 23-29), beginning at $75 a night and adding SOMA, USW and Fisherman's Wharf and upping my bid each time by $10 until I got to $105 a night, all of which were rejected. I wanted to keep going but I wasn't sure if there were any 4* in South San Francisco or Pacifica or San Mateo or anywhere else that I don't want to be that I could add risk-free.

Can anybody provide further guidance?

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I finally bid yesterday on a 4* in the USE and Embarcadero/Financial District zones for 6 nights (Sept. 23-29), beginning at $75 a night and adding SOMA, USW and Fisherman's Wharf and upping my bid each time by $10 until I got to $105 a night, all of which were rejected. I wanted to keep going but I wasn't sure if there were any 4* in South San Francisco or Pacifica or San Mateo or anywhere else that I don't want to be that I could add risk-free.

Can anybody provide further guidance?

When you're on PRICELINE's website and on the page where you select the zone you wish to bid, as an exercise, check off each zone, one at a time. Jot down on paper which zones do not offer 4* category bidding. For instance, the Civic Center zone is at the top of the list of zones to select. Select the Civic Center zone and you'll see 3.5 and 4 star is greyed out and the highest category you can bid in this zone is only 3 stars. Do the same exercise with each zone. Any zone that doesn't not offer 4* bidding is a 'free rebid' zone and you cannot be assigned a hotel as long as you keep your bids at the 4* category.

Based on the way you described your bidding experience yesterday, it's best not to keep adding bids with the same star category while simultaneously raising your bid. In your previous bidding you started with $75 for 4* in USE, but your first bid for 4* in USW was $95 or $105. How can you assume USW will require a higher amount ($95) when you didn't give that zone a chance at $75 like you did in USE? Hypothetically speaking, if USW had a hotel available for $75, but your first bid in that zone was $95, you would have overbid by $20 for each night of your stay. If you wish to bid several different zones that offer 4* hotels, it's better to bid one zone at a time, and if rejected, go back to the Priceline home page and start a completely new bid from scratch, this time bidding4* in a different zone, but at the same price you entered on your previous bid. That way you give every zone the opportunity of your lowest bid price, simultaneously eliminating any chance of an overbid. I hope that's helpful for your continued bidding.

In order to determine if your current bid prices are within reason, what is Hotwire currently charging for 4* hotels on your travel dates?

As info, LastMinuteTravel.com is listing a 4.5* hotel on an "on request" basis for $114 per night for your travel dates. As info, this property is the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. From what others have posted here, you usually get a reply back from LastMinuteTravel within about 48 hours when selecting hotels that are on an on-request basis.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

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You can read more about re-bidding here: Priceline Re-Bidding Explained

At the 4* level you have FIVE re-bid zones, please use the above thread, and the information provided by BEAV to see if you can determine your FIVE re-bid zones and confirm them with the board.

If you're confused just post back and we'll break it down further for you.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

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(click here) and use promo code: BBAPR20
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Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Thanks. That makes perfect sense. I wish I had thought of it myself. But I have figured out my five re-bid zones - Civic Center, Fisherman's Wharf, Marina, SFO North and SF South - and I'm planning on trying again in my preferred zones later today, this time one at a time. I also found the LastMinuteTravel listing for the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero.

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I finally bid yesterday on a 4* hotel in my preferred zones - USE, Financial District, SOMA and USW -one at a time, using the PRICELINE link here - beginning at $75 a night and increasing my offer $10 each time, using my five free rebid zones, and struck out each time.

Should I try the same approach on HOTWIRE? Do they operate the same way? Any other suggestions?

Last minute travel still shows the Hyatt on the Embarcadero available on request at an average of $114 a night. I wonder why they didn't accept my PRICELINE bid?

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On request means they'll ask, but it seems like odds are not good. You've got some very challenging dates in your stay.

If you continue to hit the wall, you might want to consider getting a weekly rate at The Gaylord Suites, Donatello, Grosvenor House suites or the like. These are furnished apartments/hotel rooms that may work. There are also some timeshare properties like the Wyndham Canterbury.

HOTWIRE can be a good indicator of inventory, so try looking at that and keep plugging away, I guess.

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Should I try the same approach on Hotwire? Do they operate the same way? Any other suggestions?
Unlike PRICELINE, Hotwire does not have a name-your-own-price product. Instead they just tell you the price for your dates/star level, give you a list of amenities for that particular hotel and reveal the identity after you purchase. What are the 4* Hotwire prices for your travel dates? PRICELINE will often come in a little cheaper than HOTWIRE, however researching Hotwire's prices for your travel dates can give you some insight as to whether the prices you're bidding on PRICELINE are reasonable or not (major hint-hint, wink-wink going on here).
Last minute travel still shows the Hyatt on the Embarcadero available on request at an average of $114 a night. I wonder why they didn't accept my Priceline bid?
Each hotel contracts prices with outside, 3rd party vendors and there's no guarantee PRICELINE is going to be the cheapest.

I think your biggest challenge here is a 6-night stay. In order to achieve success, Priceline has to not only have inventory at the price point you're bidding, but also that same rate for 6 consecutive nights. Let's say 5 out of 6 nights Priceline has inventory available at $115, however 1 of those nights the hotel has heavier occupancy and their Priceline rate is $150. In that scenario you'd have to bid $150 for all six nights in order to obtain success.

Take a look at a PRICELINE vacation package from LAX to SFO for 1 person 9/23-9/29. The least expensive package for 4* hotel is $1266 (currently) at the Wyndham Parc 55. The air fare component of this package is $99. Subtract that from $1266 and you come up with a hotel cost for 6 nights (including taxes/fees) of $1167. That's a per night hotel rate of $195 (tax included).

If I were you, I'd investigate the availability of the $115 rate at the Hyatt Embarcadero through LastMinuteTravel.

Continued good luck and keep us posted.

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I tried Priceline, separately using all four of my preferred zones and free rebid zones, first for 6 nights, then for the first three and the last three nights, then for the two weekend nights, up to a maximum of $125 a night, and came up empty handed each time. I also tried to get the Hyatt Embarcadero, which was available on request through lastminutetravel.com, and got turned down. So I'm going to stick with my reservation at the Intercontinental through my travel agent friend for $146 a night.

However, I wanted to thank you all for your help and input. Next time.

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Thanks for closing this thread with your decision.

Sorry that PRICELINE didn't work out for you for this stay, but glad to see you found something reasonable which works for your needs.

Enjoy your stay.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBAPR20
(3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 04/30/2020)

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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